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The glass drop ceiling: composition effects or implicit discrimination?

Claudia Biancotti (), Giuseppe Ilardi and Clair Lavinia Moscatelli ()
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Clair Lavinia Moscatelli: Bank of Italy

No 182, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: We analyze data from the Bank of Italy's most recent recruitment rounds, in an effort to explain why men consistently score better than women. We focus on the pre-screening stage of the hiring process, a multiple-choice test, where men acquire a preliminary advantage. After observing a higher incidence of questions left blank for women, and a negative correlation between the share of unanswered questions and the final score, we run an experiment on scoring formulas to check for implicit discrimination linked to risk aversion; no evidence of such discrimination is found. Based on a follow-up questionnaire, we also study the role of composition effects. Nearly 40 per cent of the gap in test scores depends on the quality of the candidates: male graduates appear to self-select into the applicant pool more frequently than females do. A further 34 per cent is explained by the fact that the same characteristics tend to produce different effects based on gender. The remaining 26 per cent remains unexplained

Keywords: implicit discrimination; risk aversion; self-esteem; gender; multiple-choice tests. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 J45 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma
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